If you are anything like me, you purchase combination beauty products to make the morning routine faster and easier. Blush that can double as lipstick, for example, or foundation powder with an SPF rating for sun protection so it can double as sun block. I try to buy products that provide such protection, since we all know how important it is to protect yourself from the harmful radiation of the sun. However, even though my tinted moisturizer (which I wear daily) says that it is SPF 15, it does not adequately shield my face from the UV rays of the sun.

First of all, you should wear a sun block which is rated SPF 30 or higher every day. And you should know that our skin is affected by both UV-A and UV-B radiation from the sun–but only UV-B protection is measured by SPF! So just looking at the traditional SPF rating system can give you a false sense of security regarding your sun block or combination product. The good news is that the FDA passed new rules to help address the fact that UV-A protection is not always addressed. If your sun block or combination product states “Broad Spectrum SPF [number value, such as 30],” then indicates that it also provides a higher level of UV-A protection.

In addition, the amount of sunscreen that you apply to your face should amount to a teaspoon. Most of us use far less tinted moisturizer or foundation (likely a pea-sized amount). And you should be sure to protect your neck and chest, which most of us tend to neglect. Therefore, as you age, your neck and chest can become the areas with the most obvious signs of aging. The backs of your hands, and any regularly sun-exposed areas, should also be protected.

Generally, it is best to first apply a sunscreen with at least Broad Spectrum SPF 30 or higher before you apply your makeup so that you are fully protected. Then you can apply your SPF 15 makeup as an added shield. You can refresh your makeup, and therefore your sun protection, throughout the day.

Happy summer! Stay safe from harmful UV radiation with these tips!